December 11th, 2029
It's been exactly one month since the launch of Sword Art Online, or SAO for short. One year in development, one year for release, one day to change our lives forever. At this point, salvation still seemed very far away; if it took one month to complete seventeen floors, then getting to the hundredth was going to take a while. Not everyone was fighting, either; children and people new to games entirely chose to wait on the first level's town, as it was too much of a risk to have them fight alongside us.
Everyone is fighting the best they can, and for a while now, it seemed that victory was not that far away. Most everyone was united, and even those who usually disliked the Beta Testers seemed to at least keep their comments to themselves. Three powers rose; the Army, the Divine Dragon Alliance, and the Knights of the Blood. Each guild having their own strengths, their own people, their own problems.
One particular problem was hanging above everyone's heads.
And so we all gathered at the Coliseum. Despite Freya being the leader, I was chose as the 'face' of the guild. I don't know why I'm doing this--if something happened, all would point at me. Maybe Freya really did kill Lucian, and I was next. Or it could just be one big misunderstanding. At this point in time, all eyes were on me, and my own eyes couldn't meet theirs.
If I only I could have seen what was coming, if there was some way to know that we were about to make the biggest mistakes of our lives.
This is our story.
"Presenting the Third-In-Command of the Knights of the Blood--Eva."
Eva reluctantly lifted her face to the crowd. That simple act had the audience break out in whispers. She wasn't that surprised; she was just a kid, and already she was third highest ranked in a guild notorious for housing strong players. As soon as the noise quieted down, she drew in a small breath. She hated public speaking. The topic didn't help any, either.
"As you know, the shift in power has presented some changes within our guild." She stated. "However, as per our guild's standards, the new leader, Freya, has assigned me as the 'head' of the Front Lines. I'll be in charge of all operations, that is to say. Just...planning and dungeon crawling and...uh, developing boss strategies."
The girl paused, letting that bit of information sink in, and judging by their reactions, this was news. "I'm not the type of person to really lead anyone, nor am I the type to sit around and let everyone else do the work, but I'll do the best I can. I'll be joining the scouting team personally in an effort to measure out the floor's difficulty so that when we tackle the boss, we'll have a better chance at winning and lessening the casualties."
"It might just be a title in a game, but I promise, I'll get us all out of here. If I have to go and beat every boss by myself, then so be it."
Her last sentence got a couple of laughs here and there, but to her delight, she was met with some polite applauding. She sighed in relief as she was dismissed, and she quickly escaped the Coliseum as quickly as possible. A message popped up at her window; the next floor would be tackled later on, at sunset. It was just around late morning, so that left everyone some time. Deciding that she needed a little time to think, she sat at the grand fountain and pondered to herself. She couldn't stand all that staring...